Iran announced it had resumed uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow nuclear plant, stepping further away from the 2015 one-sided Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The rogue regime has been “bulking up” its Fordow nuclear facility since at least April 2018, but the cowardly countries remaining in the JCPOA, never made the construction issue.
President Trump backed away from the deal in May 2018 because it restricted the United States, but enabled Iran to go nuclear in 2025, and continue to fund terrorism, among other reasons. Months before the US withdrew, the POTUS offered to renegotiate and make the deal acceptable. He gave the Iranian despots a choice, “You can have a nuclear weapons program, or you can have a functioning economic system. One or the other, but you can’t have both.” After getting a negative response to his offer to renegotiate, the President placed sanctions on Iran, which, as promised, is crippling its economy.
In the deal, Iran agreed to turn Fordow into a “nuclear, physics and technology center” where 1,044 centrifuges were used for purposes other than enrichment. Still, it has been apparent for over a year and a half that Iran was getting the Fordow facility ready for its nefarious purposes. If they were getting it ready for isotopes as they claimed in the JCPOA, a facility built in a mountain wouldn’t be necessary.
A few weeks before President Trump announced America would be leaving the flawed deal, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced the Mossad had captured nuclear-related files from an Iranian storage facility. The data showed that Fordow was built for Iran’s nuclear weapons program which they called Project Amad.
In July of 2019, the Institute for Science and International Security reported:
- The Fordow uranium enrichment facility has never been repurposed, as promised in the JCPOA. Everything required to enrich uranium to weapons-grade could be quickly reconstituted in the underground portion of the facility.
- Fordow is potentially part of Iran’s current threats to progressively go to higher enrichment levels and increase its stocks of enriched uranium, and if conducted there, Fordow’s underground tunnel complex is fortified to withstand aerial bombardment.
- Fordow now includes semi-indigenous nuclear equipment production and potentially illicit procurement at the newly expanded support area, the former which was not likely intended by the JCPOA, and the latter which is prohibited.
- The Iranian Nuclear Archive (a portion of which was seized by Israel) shows that Fordow’s original, intended purpose dating back to at least 2002 was to produce weapon-grade enriched uranium for 1-2 nuclear weapons per year. There is no doubt it could be reconstituted to fulfill that purpose.
Iran’s plans to increase its nuclear activity at Fordow raise concerns that Iran is positioning itself for a rapid nuclear breakout. It is now time for all nations to reject its nuclear extortion and increase pressure.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 7, 2019
Nobody should be surprised that Iran resumed enrichment at Fordow, they have been expanding and upgrading the facility for over a year and a half. What is surprising is that none of the remaining countries in the deal China, France, Germany, Russia, or the United Kingdom, has called Iran on it. At least one would expect that France, Germany, and the UK would have the guts to tell Iran to stop readying their nuclear weapons plant in a mountain.